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One hundred years of hard metal: Past, present and future

One hundred years of hard metal: Past, present and future

By the end of September, Employed, the Association of Friends of Metallurgy, organized a conference on hard metal at the Faculty of Mathematics and Statistics of the UPC, sponsored by Aspromec and with the presence of David Sanz, Vocal of Aspromec and CEO of Walter Tools. The event brought together more than 80 people and had the participation of 45 companies interested in knowing the past and future of this material that celebrates its centenary this year.

Innovation and sustainability: The path towards the circular economy of hard metal

Professor Luis M. Llanes highlighted the complexity of finding a material that works as well as hard metal., combining tungsten carbide and cobalt to achieve exceptional hardness and toughness properties. The search for alternatives remains a challenge, especially for applications requiring impact and wear resistance.

In the first round table on the 'Current and future of hard metal', David Sanz, CEO of Walter Tools and vocal of Aspromec, focused on the importance of recyclability and reuse of hard metal to maintain production. The need for reconditioned tools that maintain their properties was also discussed.. Giselle Ramirez, from Eurecat, spoke about the use of Machine Learning to evaluate tool wear and anticipate breakage. Controlling the quality of final parts optimizes tool life.

The second round table addressed recycling and the circular economy in hard metal. Companies like Ceratizit strive to reduce dependence on raw materials and improve sustainability. It was mentioned that Ceratizit does not acquire tungsten from China and seeks to recycle material in a 95%. TM Comas is working on the VIVALDI project, that seeks to valorize ceramic and metal waste by generating recycled powders for processing. Flubetech highlighted the importance of coatings to extend the useful life of tools and contribute to sustainability.

Outlook for carbide in manufacturing and metallurgy: An irreplaceable material

Regarding the future of hard metal, It was emphasized that he has a long road ahead, but not suitable for all applications. It is essential to consider the working conditions, tools and processes before undertaking new applications to ensure success. Carbide tool manufacturers must be careful when launching new application proposals.

In summary, The day on hard metal highlighted its historical relevance and promising future, with the participation of industry and research experts who shared ideas and perspectives on how to maintain this material as a vital component in manufacturing and metallurgy. Besides, The importance of sustainability and recyclability in the hard metal industry was emphasized.